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Historic sex offender John Clayson dies in prison

By Luke May

A serial sex offender who evaded police capture for 26 years has died behind bars.

John Clayson, formerly of Upper Fant Road in Maidstone, died while serving a sentence at HMP Swaleside on Friday, 16 months after he was jailed for 21 years.

The 61-year-old was convicted of the rape, false imprisonment and indecent assault of a woman in a multi-story car park in Gravesend in 1990.

John Clayson was sentenced to 21 years in prison for historic sex offences.
John Clayson was sentenced to 21 years in prison for historic sex offences.

He was convicted of two more serious sexual offences dating between 1988 and 1994.

Police were unable to capture Clayson until 2015, when he was arrested for breaching the conditions of his sex offender registration, which he had been ordered to sign after being found guilty of an attempted rape in Cornwall in 1994.

A new DNA sample was subsequently taken which linked him to the Gravesend case.

A trial at Maidstone Crown Court last year heard Clayson threatened his Gravesend victim at knife point as she returned to her car at the former Anglesea multi-storey car park.

During the trial it was established Clayson was terminally ill and was only receiving palliative care for cancer.

According to the coroner, Clayson died in Rochester.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: "HMP Swaleside prisoner John Clayson died on Friday 8 June.

“As with all deaths in custody there will be an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman."

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